Businesses and landowners may be legally liable when harm occurs because they have acted in a negligent or reckless manner. This includes not only accidents such as slip and falls but also situations in which a third party may have intentionally caused an injury. If your family has been affected by an assault or other crime on business property, the Pembroke Pines premises liability lawyers at Cohn & Smith can help you investigate the details of your situation. We may be able to guide you in seeking damages from any party that may have been responsible.Holding a Business Accountable for Negligent Security
Lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries or a wrongful death on another party’s property proceed under a legal theory known as negligence. The basic concept is that those who do not act in a reasonably prudent manner should be held liable for any damages that result from their carelessness or recklessness. There are four steps in a negligence case: proving that the defendant had a legal duty towards the plaintiff, that the defendant breached the duty that was owed, that there was a link of causation between the breach and the harm, and that the plaintiff incurred damages that are quantifiable.
The legal definition of causation contains two elements. There must be factual causation, which is a “but-for” test under which the plaintiff likely would not have been harmed but for the defendant’s actions or inaction. Also, there must be a showing of proximate cause, which is essentially an inquiry into whether the harm was reasonably foreseeable.
Causation is often one of the most contested issues in premises liability cases arising from a defendant’s alleged negligence in not providing adequate security, thereby allowing a third party to commit a crime against the plaintiff. Some of the key factors to consider include:
- Whether there was a history of violence on the business’ premises or in the neighborhood;
- Whether security guards were available;
- Whether there was adequate lighting in the landowner’s parking lot; and
- Whether the business performed adequate background checks on its employees.
In many cases involving allegations of negligent security, the business owner will try to avoid liability by placing all of the blame for the plaintiff’s damages on the third party whose criminal or reckless act led to the injuries. However, it is important to note that the mere fact that a third party was involved does not absolve the property owner of legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for patrons, tenants, customers, and other visitors.Contact a Pembroke Pines Lawyer for Your Injury Claim
It takes time to properly investigate a negligent security or other premises liability case, so it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after harm arises from an entity’s negligence. Contact the Pembroke Pines injury attorneys at Cohn & Smith by calling (954) 431-8100 or by using our online form to set up a free consultation. Most of our cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis, so no upfront legal fees are required. We serve clients throughout South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Aventura, Coral Springs, Davie, Sunrise, and communities across North Dade County.